Friday, October 11, 2013

a not so gross worm.

I never thought I'd say this in a million years.
But yes, this worm actually ain't that gross.

Glowworms (aka Arachnocampa luminosa)
engulf the entirety of the Waitomo Glowworn Caves in New Zealand.
The organic and larva-like things illuminate these otherwise 
pitch black caves.  They emit light as a chemical reaction under 
the same process of bio luminescent microorgamisms (in Australia)
or reactive jellyfish (in British Columbia).

These worms choose to stay in these caves in their larval state.
They spin silk nests and hang long strings of mucus beads (gross)
from the ceiling. Since the cave has no wind, they're not worried
about getting all tangled up in their neighbor's business. On top of that
these are also sticky strings of mucus-y death as it traps prey.

The glowworms on the ceiling are the brightest,
which also means that they are the most hungry.
The light is used to attract curious prey.

Of course, humans are not on their
"to-eat" list and when human interference happens,
they just tend to retract and hide in their nest.
(thank goodness)

... they're super cool and now have redeeming aesthetic qualities
but that doesn't mean I'll be playing with these anytime soon.
(I would probably lose my mind if one
of these things dropped into my boat... or on my face)

- - -
The Waitomo Glowworm Caves @ New Zealand.


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